April 8, 2016

Maine Warden Service hosts Mozambique: International Visitor Leadership Program

[Augusta, Maine ? April 8, 2016] For the second year in a row, the Maine Warden Service helped host the International Visitor Leadership Program. A group of eight people from Mozambique, Africa, that included two chief game wardens, a district prosecutor, a judicial magistrate (judge), an assistant AG, a journalist, and others, visited with leadership in the Maine Warden Service for the day as part of their larger tour of the United States. This group is in the United States under the auspices of the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program, a more than 75-year-old program started by former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. This program was arranged by the World Affairs Council of Maine, Meridian International Center in Washington D.C., and the Maine Warden Service.

Today?s visit began with an overview of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife by Commissioner Chandler Woodcock and Game Warden Colonel Joel Wilkinson. Afterwards, the group visited the Maine Law Enforcement Officer Memorial, took a tour of the State Capital, and met with Governor Paul LePage and IF&W Committee Chair, Senator Paul Davis. After lunch, Chief District Court Judge Charles C. LaVerdier and Penobscot County District Attorney Chris Almy met with the group to discuss their roles in Maine?s judicial process. The afternoon wrapped up with an overview of the Maine Operation Game Thief Program, a private, non-profit organization that works with the Maine Warden Service to pay rewards to citizens who turn in poachers.

During their stay and travel in the US, some objectives include an assessment of our efforts to deter poaching and trafficking of wildlife resources through wildlife protection policies, law enforcement, and criminal prosecution. They will explore non-governmental organizations that promote and support wildlife protection and discourage consumer demand. Additionally, the group will examine the harmful impact of international wildlife trafficking on political, economic, environmental, and social stability.